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The Pledges

November 27th, 2009

A portion of the theatre making folk in Birmingham/West Midlands (100ish) have just finished two days of Open Space talking at The Crescent Theatre, prompted by a call from our Arts Council England Drama Officer asking How Can We Make Theatre Better in the West Midlands.

Near the end, worried that there was too much aspiration towards someone beaming down from on high to fix all our problems for us, I scribbled a hasty pledge card which, if only the people attending that meeting accepted would mean an appreciable difference in the sense of connectedness and dynamism in the region’s theatre world.

Here is a second draft of the pledges:

1: Attend 12 theatre shows in the next 12 months, 4 by West Midlands writers/artists/companies you haven’t seen before, 1 in a West Midlands Venue you’ve never been to before.

2: Take 12 people who have never been, rarely go, or don’t ‘do’ Independent Theatre to a show. Share transport.

3: Host a meal/party for 8 people 4 of which you barely know.

4: Write 12 comments/reviews/blog entries about theatre on other people’s sites.

5: Attend 1 mid*point or return to the next Open Space event.

I want to refine these and who knows, maybe even print them up and hand them out – very New Labour.

Read more about the event from Graeme Rose’s perspective.

James

7 Responses to “The Pledges”

  1. Jon says:

    Just wanted to let you know that I think this is a great series of pledges. I’m going to take this up for where I live.

    J

  2. Thanks for taking this action James and for making this public pledge. I agree that it’s so important that after all the fascinating and challenging conversation of those two days we don’t just let the dialogue vanish into the ether under the weight of returning to our daily routines, so I too will take up your pledge.

  3. […] Saturday at their A.E.Harris factory site in Birmingham; well worth a look!) and I came across a blog post from their director James Yarker on his thoughts following the event. He has come up with a series […]

  4. […] (which could be very nice) but, as I said before, I think the idea of everyone taking The Pledges is a good starter, mainly because it depends on no-one […]

  5. Helga says:

    James, bit late to add a comment (does it count towards my 12?) but I am taking you up on the Pledges, even if I have to double up while out of the country in the Spring. In fact the Pledges have inspired me to suggest something similar in my column for the Post – the first of 2010 – next week. If everyone did one new cultural activity a month – and visited one new venue to do it – it would open people to new experiences and expanded horizons. That’s got to be a worthy New Year resolution?!

  6. admin says:

    Helga you’re a fairly prodigious blogger / commentator / columnist so I imagine you’ll swan well past 12 comments in a year, so I’m going to say no, this comment doesn’t count as it is more about admin/marketing than art. I want to encourage the direct discussion of art. Generally I think we’re a bit weedy about that in this country. It’s amazing how few people have the courage of their convictions and will duck offering opinions about art, either not wishing to offend or not wishing to be caught out in some way.

    Anyway, even though it doesn’t count to the pledge thanks for commenting and for rolling out the Pledge notion.

  7. […] night Kindle hosted a meal @ A E Harris. Responding to Theatre Pledge Number 3 – Host a meal/party for 8 people 4 of whom you barely know – they invited all […]

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